by Jean Gran
Have you ever wondered, “What happens
to the annual membership fee I pay to the
IAC?” If so, I think you’ve
asked a very important question and it’s
time you knew the answer. As the Treasurer
for the IAC, I’d like to take you
on a behind the scenes tour of the IAC’s
financial life. You’ll learn how the
organization manages and uses the money
you entrust to it. So, let’s get started.
First of all, the IAC is incorporated as
a non-profit business league. This means
our reason for being is to represent the
interests of our members. By pooling our
money and energy we can accomplish things
that none of us could do alone. The IAC
exists in order to serve you, its members
and the larger coaching community world
Next let’s take a peek at the Finance
Committee. The Finance Committee begins
each year by asking, “How can we best
serve the needs of our members with the
resources we have?” That’s a
familiar question, isn’t it? As both
individuals and businesses we all face the
task of determining how we can meet our
needs, accomplish our goals and fulfill
our mission using the resources we have.
That question kicks off the budget process.
Does the word budget immediately make you
cringe and think of old skinflints like
Scrooge? Budgets do have a reputation for
being restrictive and limiting. So let’s
drop the “b” word and talk about
a spending plan instead. Do you notice how
much more empowering that feels? Now we
are talking about personal responsibility,
authenticity and the freedom to make good
choices that serve our mission. After lots
of input, discussion and research the Finance
Committee presents the spending plan to
the Board of Governors for review and approval.
The process of creating a spending plan
is just as important as the end result.
Working out a spending plan on paper allows
the IAC to try on different ways of using
the available resources without spending
a dime. Sometimes ideas that sound great
just don’t work when you crunch the
numbers. Then because the plan is evaluated by
many eyes, we can catch potential problems
before they occur and make sure we are getting
the best return on the organization’s
Spending plans aren’t only about
spending, or only about money for that matter.
After all, you can’t spend what you
don’t have. That’s where support
from annual memberships comes in. Last year
the Finance Committee used the spending
plan to determine the IAC’s first
membership fee. We projected the costs to
keep the organization alive, thriving and
growing. We looked at the dues of similar
membership organizations. Only then could
we see that our first impulse to set a lower
fee just wouldn’t sustain the IAC.
It’s ironic but by charging too little
we would have been wasting your money. I’ll
bet many coaches out there can identify
with this dilemma.
In addition, spending plans are about lots
more than money. Spending plans help us
plan the best use of all of our resources
not only money but also time and energy.
At this point we are an all volunteer organization.
You could say that we are fueled by love.
If we don’t consider the time and
energy costs of our plans and goals we risk
burning out the most valuable asset we have,
our dedicated volunteers around this ever
shrinking globe. The process of creating
an annual spending plan allows us to show
our gratitude for our resources by conserving
them and using them purposefully.
The final stop on this tour will be a look
at the specific expenditures that the IAC
makes annually for the benefit of members
and the coaching community world wide. These
expenditures fall into four categories:
First, we have basic operating expenses
that keep our doors open. These include
accounting costs, liability insurance
and a small amount for administrative
Second, we have costs to maintain ongoing
services to members. These include:
Coaching certification based on
demonstration of masterful coaching
is our primary
expenses include paying the IAC’s
amazing team of certifiers and a virtual
assistant for administration. Certification
expenses are mostly covered by certification
The IAC’s website provides
a searchable database of members,
access to member benefits such as
professional liability insurance and
information promoting coaching to
the public. As we have grown, the complexity
of our website has grown. While much
volunteer effort has gone into the
website we now have a consulting firm
doing much of the technical work.
The IAC’s monthly newsletter,
the VOICE, has a circulation of over 12,000.
The VOICE informs, connects and inspires
paying members and a vast network
of subscribers around the world. It
has been our main avenue of outreach
and promotion. Volunteers write and edit the VOICE with some support from
a virtual assistant.
- Third, we have a category of expenditures
which could be called the IAC’s
growing edge. No one can do everything
at once. In addition to keeping the doors
open and maintaining ongoing commitments,
we also dedicate time, energy and money
to new projects for the benefit of the
membership. This year these projects include
Transitioning the certification
process from the 15 Proficiencies
to the IAC Coaching Masteries™ and
training new certifiers.
Improving the functionality and
user interface on the website and
setting up a merchant account so we
can take credit cards.
Legally protecting and licensing
the IAC Coaching Masteries™.
Expanding the IAC’s outreach
and promotion by sending representatives
to important coaching conferences
and advertising in coaching journals.
And finally, the IAC is committed to
creating a solid financial base to sustain
the organization for the long haul by
setting aside financial reserves to cover
large projects or unforeseen contingencies
in the future.
A financially healthy organization is pretty
much like a financially healthy household
or business. And financial health is about
a lot more than money. The IAC is fueled
not only by the money of the membership
but also by the energy, time and creativity
of its members, all working for a common
good. Thanks for joining me on this little
Remember, the IAC is your organization.
I invite you to get involved. Please feel
free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you have any questions or comments.
Jean Gran, IAC Treasurer, is a Financial
Wellness Coach and Educator who helps individuals and couples earn more,
spend less and create financially healthy
lives from the inside out. Learn more on
line at www.jeangran.com.